Creating a Gendered Transnational and Multigenerational Trauma Narrative in Márta Mészáros’s Film, Északi fény [‘Aurora Borealis’]

Agatha Schwartz


In this paper, Schwartz offers a gendered analysis of Mészáros’s most recent feature film [‘Aurora Borealis’]. She argues that the film presents a transnational narrative about repressed traumatic memories as they pertain to sexual and political violence dating back to the early 1950s. The film explores the effects of postmemory (Hirsch) through three generations across Hungary, Austria, Russia (the former Soviet Union), and present-day Spain. With the help of theories of trauma (Herman, Kaplan, Caruth, LaCapra) and through a close reading of the symbols and colors used in the film, Schwartz reflects on the healing potential of narrative recovery together with the role children born as a result of armed conflict can play in rethinking narratives of war and in exploring their own transnational bridge-building potential in the twenty-first century.


Transnational narrative; children born of war; postmemory; multigenerational trauma

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Copyright (c) 2020 Agatha Schwartz

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